Characterization of the turning response of dorsal root neurites toward nerve growth factor

R. W. Gunderson, John Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

324 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study reports that chick dorsal root ganglion neurites undergo a rapid (20 min) reorientation of their direction of growth in response to nerve growth factor (NGF) concentration gradients in vitro. Dorsal root ganglia from chick embryos were explanted onto a collagen-poly-L-lysine substrate. After 24-48 h in culture, NGF gradients were applied to individual growth cones via a micropipette containing 50 biological units NGF/ml. The growth cones turned and grew toward these NGF sources. This turning response was not caused by the trophic effects of NGF on neurite initiation, survival, or growth rate. Dorsal root neurites also grew toward sources of mono- and dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (dB cAMP), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and elevated calcium in the presence of the calcium ionophore A23187. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that intracellular levels of cAMP and/or cGMP and calcium may play a role in the turning response of dorsal root neurites toward NGF, but do not establish a causal relationship between the mechanisms of action of NGF, cyclic nucleotides and calcium. Total growth cone adherence to the substrate was measured using a timed microjet of perfusion medium. NGF increased the adherence of growth cones to the substrate, but caffeine and dB cAMP which also elicit the positive turning response, decreased growth cone adherence. Calcium which did not elicit the positive turning response, produced a greater growth cone adherence to the substrate than that observed with NGF. Although these results do not rule out of adhesion changes in axonal turning to NGF, they show that a general increase in adherence does not correlate well with the rapid turning response observed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-554
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume87
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980

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Spinal Nerve Roots
Nerve Growth Factor
Neurites
Growth Cones
Calcium
Spinal Ganglia
Calcium Ionophores
Cyclic Nucleotides
Cyclic GMP
Calcimycin
Chick Embryo
Growth
Caffeine
Cyclic AMP
Lysine
Collagen
Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Characterization of the turning response of dorsal root neurites toward nerve growth factor. / Gunderson, R. W.; Barrett, John.

In: Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 87, No. 3 I, 01.12.1980, p. 546-554.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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